Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Apparition

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Who needs scares in horror films anyway?

The Apparition – 1 out of 5

This film is one of those cases where the trailer is infinitely better than the actual final product. In fact, words fail me to adequately encompass how much better the less than three minute trailer is to the actual film. It actually tells a better story and has better, more visceral scares than the entire film actually has…and somehow has better acting, plot and character development—and I don’t even know how that is even possible.

This was suppose to be a scary scene in the film but I'm pretty sure it's actually
the start of a new sexual fetish the internet will actively embrace.

Kelly (Ashley Greene from Twilight) and her boyfriend Ben (Sebastian Stan) move into a new home within one of those cookie-cutter residential communities and soon find that something came with them. Events start to occur in the home that would suggest that there may be an Indian burial ground underneath them, a cursed item in their possession or they pissed off some ghosts by calling some of them “faggots” in a nether-world online forum. Soon Kelly discovers that Ben had participated in an experiment in college meant to try and bring a ghost over from the other side. Now this demon/specter/ghoul/ghost thing is out to take their lives but first, it has to toy with them. Ben calls on his partner in the experiment Patrick (Tom Felton) to try and use some pseudo-science and a whole bunch of made-up techno babble jargon that somehow sounds even less convincing than if it was uttered by a "legitimate" ghost hunter to try and eliminate the horror.

And then, at one point, Ashley Greene physically transforms into Kristen Stewart...
only with, like, three more emotions than Stewart is capable of doing.

This film is truly wondrous…oh, not because it’s scary or horrifying. No, it’s wondrous because I’ve never seen a horror film fail so badly at being not only a scary movie but just a comprehensible movie to begin with. The film’s story is a mess, it offers up a moment or two of some creepiness but nothing in real terms of fear and the characters are bland, boring and lack any real depth.

One of the only creepy scenes this film offers the viewer.  It took a lot out of
the crew.

If only Ben did the "potato battery" experiment instead of the
"let's welcome a ghost into our physical world"experiment none of this
would have happened.
  It’s quite amazing how this movie can simultaneously be slow moving and moving too fast. The first hour and ten minutes of this hour and twenty minute film is spend seeing Kelly and Ben play house as they acclimate themselves to their new digs. Nothing happens beyond some chores and unpacking—sure the film opens with some exposition for the haunting but this is left in the past until near the end where the movie will rapidly explain all the stuff it should have been feathering out during the film’s progression. It was like the director/writer; Todd Lincoln, got all wrapped up with having a story that developed at a snail’s pace until he realized he forgot to put some scares in, create a decent tone for the film and, most of all, actually put some explanation in the film. So, to make up for this mistake, he lazily puts in some overdubbed narration (conveniently from the character Patrick’s video journal) that explains the motives, desires and possible even the turn-ons/turn-offs of the ghost/demon and even goes into some exposition about the opening scene of the film that involves a séance from the 70s—a scene that should have actually played a part in the film’s story but is ignored and just kinda mentioned in passing by Patrick.

And in doing so, they pass over the greatest horror this film had to offer...
that mustache in the background.

The Apparition is just a prime example of lazy filmmaking where the director just decides that all the things you need in a movie are just suggestions. Even worse, it acts as just another reminder to two of the stars that they will never have a career outside of the big franchises that recently came to a close. Kelly is played by Ashley Greene; who was also in Twilight, and Patrick is played by Tom Felton; who you might remember as the little blond haired wizard we all wanted to see get a wand pierced through his throat; Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter.

She just realized her career is doomed.

Escaping major franchises like Twilight and Harry Potter and getting a career after these things is really freaking hard—just ask 98% of the people involved with the Star Wars films. Coming off projects that are big money makers and have huge loyal fanbases, only to find yourself landing in a poorly made (and even more poorly reviewed) horror film must be heartbreaking because it only serves as a reminder that you will be only known as a sparkling vampire and a snotty little British wizard that everyone hates. At least in Felton’s case, he can also be remembered as the guy who got his ass handed to him by a talking ape.

No use in disguising yourself.  We will never forget how mean you were to Harry!

"Just wander around with that device, we'll add the scary
stuff in post."
To say The Apparition is a bad film is to insult every bad film to ever exist. This movie isn’t bad, it’s just lazy. It’s clear no effort was placed into the script or film and the fact it even exists and was allowed to be released unto the world when it looks like at least twenty minutes are missing from the film (and that’s a conservative estimate based on the poorly constructed final cut) is just insulting to the audience that watches it. I’m hoping that Todd Lincoln is just a really shitty filmmaker who, thanks to a deal with Satan himself, was able to get this film made and released. Any other explanation would just destroy my hope in humanity because, after watching this, I am convinced that the short films he made prior to this can’t be good enough to have some movie executive award him the opportunity to make a feature length horror film…black magic had to have been involved. It really is the only logical explanation.

I was going to show a still of one of the film's scary scenes but since there literally was none,
here's the subdivision the film takes place in.

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